• Vol. 02
  • Chapter 07
Image by

Operating system

As it comes naked,
dripping formalin from a jar,
we think we know it,
hefted in a professional’s
competent latexed hands.

We have seen enough
of those gritty police
procedurals, the new
home forensics, to think
we hear a slight liquid suck
as it is placed on the scale,
sliding on stainless steel
like a beached sea animal.

But we do not, perhaps,
truly believe we have one
just like it, that it performs us,
that a soft labyrinth of signals
is the safe-keeper of our self.

So we try to think of it differently,
say it looks like a piece of sculpture
lying on a slab, a fresh walnut,
or a clean white cauliflower,
all of which seem safer than
this puzzle of slippery cords,
lifted clear from its hull of bone
stripped of its frail integument.